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Antonio Núñez: "In companies, the cohesion provided by the shared narrative is very helpful"

22/01/2009 (dd/mm/yyyy) | Madrid


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Antonio Núñez recently presented ¡Será mejor que lo cuentes! at ESADE Madrid. This new book reflects on storytelling and its effectiveness as a communication tool in business, politics and other social spheres.

José María de la Villa
, Director of Institutional Relations at ESADE Madrid, opened the session and welcomed the participants. Luis Arroyo introduced the book and the author. Antonio Núñez then began his talk by sharing a few details of his career that inspired him to write the book.

He started by framing the book in the context of the ‘bombardment of information and advertising that we are continually exposed to’ and highlighting the influence of new technologies, ‘which serve to further saturate the landscape’. According to Mr. Núñez, ‘the saturation of TV channels and radio stations - which is a result of the freedom made possible by new technologies - is causing technology to become tremendously ineffective from a communication standpoint’. In his view, this fragmentation ‘makes us lose our sense of what we are communicating’ and drains narratives of meaning.

Faced with these circumstances, Mr. Núñez said, it is essential to rediscover the value of the story as a true means of communication because, among other advantages, ‘stories have a context - there is a series of events, an explanation, and therefore a sense of order’. Moreover, it is much more attention-grabbing than other communication systems because it involves emotions and sensations. Another advantage of stories, according to Mr. Núñez, is that they ‘create communities’, as well as a sense of belonging. Within companies, ‘the cohesion provided by the shared narrative is very helpful, because there are always personal stories that have common DNA’, he explained.

Despite the general reluctance to use storytelling in Spain, Mr. Núñez noted, other countries have a long tradition of using the technique for serious purposes. In the United States, for example, it has been used to great effect in Hollywood, in politics, and even in such important institutions as NASA, as well as in the business, executive and educational spheres. As an example, Mr. Núñez mentioned the successful use of storytelling by Barack Obama in his political and personal discourse.

In the second half of his talk, Mr. Núñez defined the term ‘story’: ‘It is a sequence of events; that is, it must have an order. It must have conflict, emotions, sensations and truth, and it must bring a sense of meaning to our lives.’ He then expanded on each of these points in greater detail. Mr. Núñez then drew a distinction between various types of stories, which are useful in different contexts. One example, personal storytelling - in which we raise the question of who we are and what we are doing here - can be very helpful when we have to introduce ourselves in a business meeting, he said.

Mr. Núñez wrapped up his talk by touching on other elements that go into the crafting of a story: myths, rites, archetypes and metaphors. When using myths, he noted, it is necessary that we ‘understand the cultural narrative’. He added that rites ‘can be converted into opportunities’, archetypes ‘should be used consistently’, and metaphors ‘must be used effectively’.

 

 

The ESADE Alumni Communications Club invites you to the presentation of the book ¡Será mejor que lo cuentes!, by Antonio Núñez which reveals the decisive influence of storytelling on the business world and on our lives.

Why do some business ideas sound like duds, while others sound like money in the bank? How did Obama win the election? Why are some people better able to convince us than others? Why do we immediately forget some advertisements, and end up memorising others? How do some presentations make us quiver? The answer lies in the way the story is told. Stories transform simple information into genuinely personal emotions and sensations. Narration, rather than argumentation, is the best way to seduce our audience and get them to invest their time in us. Using dozens of entertaining examples from film, politics, the Internet and the tabloid press, Antonio Núñez will reveal the secrets of the art of storytelling. Readers of ¡Será mejor que lo cuentes! will discover the decisive influence of storytelling on the business world and on our lives. They will learn that personal success depends on how we tell our version of reality.

For more information: www.seramejorquelocuentes.com

The book will be presented by Luís Arroyo, the former Deputy Director of the Office of the Spanish Vice President and current President of Asesores de Comunicación Pública.


                              
                            

Antonio Núñez:

Born in Jerez in 1970, Mr. Núñez holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Management and an MBA from ESADE. As an ESADE student, he was a member of the Cultural Activities Department (DAC) and became the Head of Publications. In this capacity, he developed the current design of the student newspaper, ReDACció.
He is a member of the National Storytelling Network. He recently founded STORY&STRATEGY, a communications consulting firm that uses storytelling strategies to advise political parties and candidates, celebrities, media organisations, and brands such as Evax, Endesa and Vodafone.
He previously served as Managing Partner for Strategy at SCPF-WPP and was a guest of honour of the Saatchi & Saatchi World Strategy Committee.
As a storytelling teacher and lecturer, he has given hundreds of presentations and classes. He is a regular contributor to various media organisations.

 
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